< 1 of 1 > Back

made in London

Postcard of Orrery.
© National Museums Scotland


An orrery (named after the owner of the first example, the Earl of Orrery) shows the motion of planets in the Solar System. This example was made around 1790 by George Adams (Jnr) of Fleet Street in London.

It can be set up as a planetarium to show the relative motions of the planets of the Solar System; as a lunarium, showing the motion of the moon around the earth; or with a tellurian to show the orbiting relationship of the spinning earth with the sun.

Three contemporary astronomical discoveries are depicted on the instrument; the plant Uranus, in 1781; the first two of its five satellites, in 1787; and a further two satellites of Saturn, in 1789.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-100-102-691-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1944.1
Date: Around 1780
c. 1780
Material: Brass / mahogany case
Dimensions: 21.00" H x 16.75" x 15.63" (case)
What: Orrery / case
Subject: 3. ASTRONOMY, Models (Departmental Classification)
Who: G. Adams, Fleet Street, London (Orrery maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Brass orrery in a polished mahogany case, by George Adams, London, c. 1780
  • King, Henry C. & Millburn, John R., Geared to the Stars: The evolution of planetariums, orreries and astronomical clocks. Bristol: Hilger, 1978, pp 205-6 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran